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Anja Harteros

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Soprano Anja Harteros, the first German winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, has a large repertory stretching from Mozart through the 19th century and includes both Italian and German works. Harteros was born on July 23, 1972, in small-town Bergneustadt in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Her parents encouraged her to sing and to pursue music as a career, and a high school teacher noticed her unusual talents and recommended that she study voice formally. Harteros studied at first with a local teacher, Astrid Huber-Aulmann, with whom she remained for some years and whom she joined on tours of Russia and the U.S. She augmented those studies with classes at the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Liselotte Hammes and with Cologne Opera conductor Wolfgang Kastorp, whom she later married. Even before her graduation in Cologne, she had sung in several productions, and in 1996, she joined the company of the Theater Bonn. Harteros' major breakthrough came when she won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1999. The first German to take the prize, she snared the added bonus of being heard by jury member Peter Jonas, the director of the Bavarian State Opera, who hired her to sing Agathe in an upcoming production of Weber's Der Freischütz. Harteros has remained associated with that house for much of her career but has also appeared at other major houses, including the Vienna State Opera, the Semperoper in Dresden, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she made her debut as Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in 2003. For the first part of her career, Harteros specialized in Mozartian roles, but she has increasingly tended to perform roles from the later 19th century, including those in operas by both Verdi and Wagner. She has a large repertory of more than 25 roles and also sings choral works, including Bruckner's Te Deum. In 2018, Harteros made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival in a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin. That year she received the Bavarian Order of Merit. Harteros has a long list of recording credits that includes a 2007 solo release, Bella Voce, and a 2015 studio recording of Verdi's Aida, with tenor Jonas Kaufmann and conductor Antonio Pappano. In 2021, she appeared in a new recording of orchestral songs by Wagner, Berg, and Mahler with the Munich Philharmonic, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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